May 11, 2018
Master mixology has truly found a home in Tokyo, and one of the bars leading the cocktail charge over the last decade has hands down been Ishinohana. The passion project of champion Japanese bartender Shinobu Ishigaki, Ishinohana has reigned in its secluded Shibuya location since 2003 as one of Tokyo’s – and the world’s, for that matter – finest cocktail dens, with equal parts exceptionally skilled craftsmanship and creativity. While garnishes are revered in any world class cocktail bar, here they are taken to an entirely new level by Ishigaki. A foremost example is the bar’s award-winning Claudia, which features premium dark rum, vermouth, pineapple juice, caramel syrup, and a carved lime peel that twists and slithers its way down the glass. Another example of the outstanding aesthetic standard at Ishinohana is the Nordic take on the Sidecar called the Polar Star, made with aquavit, green apple syrup, and fresh squeezed lemon juice, served up and topped with a fresh-carved fruit star. In addition to regular menu favorites, Ishinohana mixes in a monthly roster of recommended cocktails which recently featured such standouts like a Pomegranate Chamomile Collins and a Pear Dill Martini. Despite garnering a worldwide following – turned up a notch after being featured on Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations – Ishinohana’s subterranean location keeps the intimate and classically-decorated bar still feeling like a secret find; a secret you’ll be glad Shinobu Ishigaki let you in on.